The official, whose career appeared to be on the line after accusing Pakistan of ball tampering and awarding the 4th Test to England, seemed to have put that drama behind him ahead of the one-day tournament in India.

 

"Yes, I am down to umpire in the Champions Trophy and I expect to fulfill that appointment," Hair told Brisbane’s Courier Mail newspaper.

 

"I'm not sure what matches I'll be doing but I'm looking forward to it."

 

The news of Hair's imminent return is sure to outrage Pakistan players and officials, as it comes a week before Inzamam-ul Haq's ICC hearing which will look into the ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute charges leveled by Hair in England.

 

Facing a ban of 2-4 Tests or 4-8 one-day matches if found guilty, Inzamam has been retained as captain by Pakistan for the Champions Trophy tournament.

 

The International Cricket Council has thrown its support behind Hair ahead of Inzamam's hearing and the Champions Trophy.

 

"He (Hair) is still regarded as one of our best umpires," an ICC source told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

 

"It's a safe bet that he'll be there (at the Champions Trophy)."

 

New funding for Chinese cricket

 

Meanwhile, the Asian Cricket Council and the ICC have each contributed $200,000 to the Chinese Cricket Association to help accelerate the development of cricket in China.

 

"This represents an opportunity for everyone involved with cricket in China," ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said in a statement.

 

"There's been a very good start in China. This is a 10-year project and no one should be under any illusion that results will appear overnight," Speed added.

 

"Cricket in China is still very new and this funding from our two bodies is directed at strengthening the development structure for cricket as established by the state sporting administration."

 

The $400,000 injection is to be used for coaching, equipment, and developing the game in China amidst calls for cricket to be added to the Asian Games and to the Olympic Games in the near future.